Next year’s Census is of great importance to DVA as it will include a question about service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester welcomed the announcement from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to include an ADF question.
Mr Chester said that the Census will provide a better understanding of how many veterans Australia has and where they live, allowing DVA to deliver the right services in the right areas to support veterans needs.
‘Historically, just because a person served in the ADF doesn’t mean they required services or support from DVA, making it hard to give a definitive answer on how many veterans are in Australia,’ Mr Chester said.
‘The Census will provide better data to help guide services and support for Australia’s veterans, and will help inform our policy response to issues facing veterans, such as health, housing and employment.
The data will also have the potential to help state and territory government agencies and ex-service organisations better target and improve services and support.
The exact wording of the question is yet to be finalised. Information on the ‘test’ question (which separated out permanent and reserve service, along with current or previous service) is on the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au/census.